My outer layers have always held great importance to me. I am adopted. I am NOTHING like my adoptive parents. I went through a major identity crisis growing up. To this day, as I am writing this at 38 years old, my adoptive parents still attempt to control me and try to dress me just like them. They cannot accept my differences and won’t accept me for who I am. At Christmas, they have gone out of their way to try and get my step children and my husband clothing that is their style. But for me, about 85-90% of what they pick out, maybe even more, are items I would never pick out for myself. Many of them I give away, and some I wear to work but would never anywhere else.
For a while when I was younger, I tried to dress like they wanted me to, just to seek their approval. But by the time I got to high school a little and definitely by college, I finally said the hell with it and listened to my inner fashionista (which is incredibly unique) and began dressing however I wanted to. They made me buy my own clothing at that point. But if we were ever in a store and I happened to say that I liked something that met Daddys stamp of approval, boy would he rush to get his credit card out and pay for that in a heart beat. But anything else that was in the style that I liked and they didn’t, I had to pay for. And it was never anything inappropriate. Just more casual, funky, colorful or Gothic (yes, I am conflicted-more on that in a minute), and fun. They are preppy and frumpy.
I have always bounced back and forth and been a mixture at the same time of both highly colorful and black and Gothic. No, I am not bipolar. I do have alot of conflict in my life which causes some major mood swings. As a classical musician, we always have to wear all black for concerts and performances, so I am often outfitting my closet with lots of black for that reason in and of itself. But I have always been drawn to the Gothic and Victorian styles. I also favor the highly colorful, psychedelic look. There is a very specific look to shirts that anyone who is close to me can see a shirt on someone else and point to it and pin it as a “Noelley shirt” aka: one they know I would buy and wear. I like jewelry alot. My wrists tell my life story. I have the flat Italian 9mm Charm bracelets with the modular interlocking charms. Each one is very specific and tells something about me. I have 4 bracelets in all. I also have a Miche purse which is a purse that has magnetic interchangeable outer shells, so you keep everything in the same purse and snap on a different outer shell to match your outfit each day. But did I stop at that customization? Why, of course not. I saw on eBay (my favorite place to shop) that people made custom shells. So I found someone who would take material I sent them and drawings of concepts I had and make shells for me. Some I bought specific material for, and some were made out of my old “Noelley shirts” that no longer fit me but that I couldn’t part with. Upcycling rocks!
I am not a shallow person at all and I assign meaning to everything that I do. And while I don’t put stock in material things, the way I dressed always held a lot of meaning to me. It always told my story and helped me feel that I had an identity separate from my adoptive parents that just wanted me to be their clones. This all made even more sense when I finally met my birthparents. At 36 I finally met my birthmom. My adoptive parents don’t know that I am in contact with them because they would be hurt and see this as a betrayal and that is not my mission. I needed it for my self. Meeting her and subsequently my birthdad this year (though I had seen his Facebook profile and pictures of him 3 years ago) affirmed exactly why I dress how I do, why I am so conflicted and torn between the light and darkness (psychedelic and Gothic) and why I was so drawn instinctively to these styles. I am a perfect mixture of the two I am pictured with above. That is my rebirthed family portrait. My birthmom is the light. She wears so many colorful shirts and outfits just like the ones I wear. She bought me birthday gifts on the first time I met her, and she bought me a beautiful, colorful butterfly necklace and bracelet, exactly my style. My birthdad is a musician, just like me. But he’s a rock musician, which I love rock as well. He is the darkness in me. He’s the spiderwebs, animal prints, black leather and flames. My need to customize everything comes from him. It even says so on his Facebook that he likes to customize everything, just like me and my bracelets and purse shells. My outer expression was just what I knew inside my soul was the pieces of my past and those who composed me.
<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/discover-challenges/outer-layers/”>Outer Layers</a>